Nearsightedness, known as myopia, is the most common vision problem in both adults and children. In fact, it is so common that experts have called it a global epidemic, predicting it will increase in prevalence from 27 percent in 2010 to 52 percent of the world’s population in 2050. Additionally, around 30 percent of the Canadian population is myopic, with the condition occurring at earlier ages and progressing faster than it ever has before.
Due to these alarming statistics, it’s easy to understand the renewed urgency in treating myopia. With all the rapid advancements in technology, you may wonder if it is possible to cure myopia or manage it successfully, such as through laser eye surgery. Here’s what you need to know:
What is Myopia?
Myopia is a vision impairment that involves an error in the eye’s ability to refract light. With this condition, people can perceive objects at a short distance clearly, but distant objects look blurry and out of focus to them. The root cause of the focus error lies in the eye’s shape: the eye grows and develops as the individual gets older and may become elongated. Conversely, it can also grow such that the eyeball’s surface becomes curved, redirecting light rays to focus in front of the retina rather than the surface.
Is It Possible to Cure Myopia?
As of writing, there is no cure for myopia, although there are numerous treatments and strategies that restore distance vision in the individual. These solutions’ effectiveness depends primarily on whether the individual is a child or an adult since the condition is easier to treat in younger people.
When Does Myopia Get Worse?
Ophthalmologists classify myopia as a progressive condition, although the eye finishes growing by early adulthood. That means that, by this time, the eye’s natural shape has fully formed and will not elongate or curve any further. The degree of myopia an individual has in their early adulthood will remain that way for the rest of their lives. However, there have been some exceptions.
Myopia can worsen in adulthood for various reasons, such as eye trauma or traumatic brain injury, medical conditions like diabetes, or over-focusing on close objects. If you have experienced any of these, be sure to visit an eye centre to treat your extreme myopia.
How Do You Treat and Manage Myopia?
Even though there isn’t any cure for myopia, numerous management and control strategies have successfully helped individuals deal with the condition.
For adults whose eyes have fully formed and matured, there are several options. Going to the best laser eye clinic for laser eye or refractive surgery can reverse myopia since it uses a laser to reshape the corneal eye tissue, effectively correcting the refractive area. Prescription lenses are the most popular and accessible option, as it alters where the light enters the retina, clearing up previously blurry sights. Corrective glasses bend the light, training it to focus on the retina’s focal point.
Treating myopia in children requires different methods, as the eye is still growing at this time. Treatment strategies can slow the progression of the condition until the child’s eyes have fully matured. These options include atropine eye drops, which have shown promising results in considerably slowing myopia progression in children. However, this treatment often goes hand in hand with multifocal glasses or contact lenses, slowing myopia progression by roughly 25 percent.
Orthokeratology, known as ortho-k, uses specially engineered gas permeable contact lenses that temporarily reshape the eyeball while the child sleeps. They remove the lenses in the morning, enabling clear vision without using glasses or contact lenses. Additionally, more time outside and less time on devices slows myopia’s progression.
Although myopia cannot be cured, there are many ways to address or manage the condition. By knowing your options and how to prevent its progression, especially in children, you can successfully control it and enjoy clearer vision without needing glasses or contact lenses.
Valley Laser Eye Centre is the best laser eye clinic in Abbotsford. We are highly equipped to treat various eye conditions, such as extreme myopia, using our state-of-the-art technology and knowledgeable staff. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!
This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented prior to consulting a fully certified medical professional.